How much money do Chartered Accountants make on average?

In 2017 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) asked 914 New Zealand-based Chartered Accountants (CAs) with less than 5 years' experience about their remuneration in our Chartered Accountants New Zealand (CA ANZ) member Remuneration Survey*. The results provided insight into the earnings of the CAs surveyed, taking into account factors that can impact wages, benefits, and bonuses.


How does your hometown shape up?

Auckland takes the cake as the city with the highest remuneration for accountants. The average CA there earns NZ$97,789 per year - a whopping NZ$17,586 above the New Zealand average - but are also faced with a higher cost of living. Accountants working in Wellington, on the other hand, earn an average of NZ$91,847 per year, although Wellington does have cheaper housing and a lower cost of living than Auckland.


Are you in the right sector?

Our Remuneration Survey indicated that financial services and industrial manufacturing were two of the highest-earning sectors in New Zealand in 2017, with the average New Zealand-based CAs in financial services surveyed earning an average of NZ$112,415 in a year, while those in industrial and manufacturing earning an average of NZ$101,714.

You might think that not-for-profit organizations wouldn't pay very well, but in New Zealand, the average salary of a CA working for a not-for-profit is NZ$95,425 - approximately NZ$10,000 higher than that of a CA working in a large public practice.


Mind the gender pay gap

The gender pay gap remains an issue across all industries, and finance and accounting is no exception. Male CAs with less than 5 years' experience working in New Zealand earn an average of NZ$92,458, while women earn only an average of NZ$87,202.

Analysis conducted by Colmar Brunton (who conducted the survey) identified that nearly 75% of the pay gap in New Zealand can be attributed to the role, a number of direct reports, experience level, hours worked and organization size.  Colmar Brunton said one-quarter of the gender pay gap not explained by differences in roles and experience could be due to a range of factors, including workplace discrimination, factors not included in the survey, and/or non-remuneration choices in job choice.

However, the changing gender composition of the workforce means that current trends are likely to evolve in line with future demographics.


More experience, more income.

Those with five to ten years' experience are earning an average of NZ$38,272 more than those with less than five years' experience.


Money isn't everything...

Your income might pay the bills and keep the lights on, but there's more to happiness than money. The Remuneration Survey strongly indicated that aside from income, CAs also value flexible hours, professional development opportunities and promotion prospects. In fact, the highest-valued aspect of a job is flexibility, with 65 percent of the New Zealand CAs surveyed rating it as "very important" to them.

So whether you're just starting out or you already have five years under your belt, several factors impact on what you earn. However, one promising takeaway for all current and future CAs is that the average remuneration for CAs has increased in every region of New Zealand since 2016.


© 2019 Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

ABN 50 084 642 571

The data contained in this article has been interpreted and compiled from the responses to a survey of 4,197 New Zealand-based Chartered Accountants including a sub-segment of 914 CAs with less than 5 years’ work experience conducted on behalf of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand in Sep/Oct 2017. Respondents were able to submit multiple answers to the survey questions. While every care is taken in the collection and compilation of data, the survey is interpretive and indicative, not conclusive. This information should be used as a guideline only.

This article first appeared on You Unlimited <>, Chartered Accountants ANZ’s hub for students, parents, and educators, on 18 September 2018 and has been republished with permission.